By Maya Lewis ‘18
Ryan Coogler’s masterful superhero film “Black Panther” is unlike any other. It features outstanding acting, breathtaking creative direction, memorable action sequences, and empowerment for the black community after decades of poor and stereotypical roles in prior movies.
The story’s depth of character and of storyline, in addition to its relevance, distinguishes “Black Panther” from previous Marvel movies. In the film, Boseman T’Challa takes the mantle of king with enormous uncertainty about whether to share Wakanda’s resources with the world. With the exception of his second-in-command, W’Kabi (Kaluuya), T’Challa surrounds himself with an inner circle of influential women: Okoye, Nakia, his mother (Bassett), and his genius younger sister, scientist/tech inventor Shuri (Letitia Wright). The central villain (Michael B. Jordan) is well-rounded and humanized, especially given that his main mission relates to racial and political tensions between white and black Americans.
From its pulsing score, which features a soundtrack overseen by award-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar, to the mesmerizing cinematography created by DP Rachel Morrison, gorgeous tribal costumes, and vibrant production design, this is a movie for the ages. Ultimately the film’s success comes down to the thoughtful, compelling storytelling from director Coogler and writer Joe Robert Cole, as interpreted by a terrific cast of actors. It is not only another highly entertaining Marvel film; it is also a poignant and powerful cinematic work representing the black community and it definitely earns its place toward the top of Marvel’s films.
A relevant superhero film that goes beyond typical expectations of how black individuals act and speak has finally been internationally released and receiving praise for it’s uplifting message and making way for more films such as this to come.
photo from Forbes